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Veterans work to restore Ogdensburgh Cemetery vets plot

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Ogdensburgh Cemetery will be going through many changes in the next month as volunteers and contractors work to repair uprooted and sunken gravestones in the cemetery’s veterans plot.

Over the years, many of the white marble gravestones have sunk, become uprooted or fallen over, Ogdensburg Veterans Association President Jerry G. Peo said Tuesday.

“Some of the names and dates you can’t read because how far the graves have settled,” Mr. Peo said.

Many of the brass plaques, which have also sunk, have become overgrown with grass and roots and are therefore unreadable.

A group of about a dozen volunteers from the Ogdensburg Veterans Association and several other concerned veterans have come together to repair the damage.

This month, the group plans to raise all the brass plaques and have them attached to concrete slabs. The white marble gravestones will be dug out and given new foundations. Several of the holes and divots around the graves will also be filled in as a safety precaution, Mr. Peo said. “The goal is to maintain what we have and to make things more level,” Mr. Peo said.

The volunteers will hold a work day in the cemetery at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

“We have a group of veterans who come from several different organizations, and some on their own, who are willing to invest their time and energy to take care of the hallowed ground,” said Mr. Peo. “These are guys that are 60 to 80 years old, but they are willing to do the work in order to make sure these gravesites will always be treated with the respect they deserve.”

The volunteers will rake, clear brush and remove tributes and debris around the stones before crews from St. Lawrence Valley Concrete, Brushton, restore the stones and plaques.

Mr. Peo said any decorations that have to be removed can be picked up near the veterans plot. If you are unable to pick them up, Mr. Peo said other arrangements can be made.

The $7,000 restoration project will be funded by a grant through the state Dormitory Authority. The association hopes to have the project completed “before the bad weather arrives,” Mr. Peo said.

The group anticipates more changes to the cemetery in the upcoming year, including construction of a new entrance to the plot.

The Ogdensburgh Cemetery Association President Arthur Hastings said trustees will work with the veterans over the next few months to construct the entrance.

Earlier this year they installed a flag post and solar light for $2,000.

The group plans to move the monument that currently stands in the middle of the plot to the entrance in front of the flagpole, to make more room for gravesites.

“Our goal is to make it so that the vets re out there are not forgotten and to give them a place of rest looks that looks nice,” Mr. Peo said. “It’s the least that we can do.”

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